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Israel's defiance shows it is the real rogue state

Let the West be as stern with Tel Aviv as it has been towards Iran's nuclear agenda

Gulf News

Israel has again shown its true colours, defying once more the will of the international community.

The United Nations announced that it will host, in 2012, a conference on establishing a nuclear-free Middle East — an Arab-led initiative backed by top Israeli ally, the US, and the 188 other signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Israel, the region's only nuclear power, rejected the UN call, describing it as "deeply flawed and hypocritical". It is not clear why the Israelis think the conference is "hypocritical". But it shows how Israel feels about international norms.

They have been campaigning right and left to put pressure on Iran and slap the Islamic republic with new and crippling sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme. Iran is believed to be years away from being able to produce nuclear weapons.

One would think the conference will be welcomed by Israel as it will pressure Iran into coming clean about its programme. But obviously Israel itself cannot come clean about its own arsenal.

The initiative to free the Middle East of nuclear weapons has been a long-time demand of the Arab states, which believe there is no chance for a sustainable, just and lasting peace in the Middle East without an end to the militarisation of the region.

For once, the world has agreed. Now, the ball is in the court of the international community to act on Israel's defiance. Western powers have been very tough on Iran, with recent agreement to place more sanctions. The West should be expected to show Israel the same determination.

History tells us that Israel will again defy the UN call. And it also tells us that the world will do nothing about it. However, this time, Israel has shown the world, including its allies, that it is the real rogue state.